Hell No: Not Quite What You Have Been Told

FriesenPress (Sep 15, 2020)
Hardcover $29.99 (108pp) 978-1-5255-7820-5

Hell No is a provocative book that encourages critical thinking when it comes to trad1t1onal beliefs about the afterlife. J. E Gulbrandsen’s intriguing religious text Hell No functions as a wake-up call to those who have fallen 1nto a spiritual lethargy when it comes to their beliefs about hell.

The book addresses a controversial question within Christianity: what happens to nonbelievers when they die? Drawing on biblical verses and interpretations, the book addresses hell as 1t is popularly regarded: as a place of eternal damnation and continuous torment, reserved for human souls without the possibility of repentance. With this picture in mind, the text argues that more balance exists between God’s love and God’s justice, contending that “eternal punishment theology IS not only wrong; it is a religious fabrication. It makes no sense.· Traditional teachings about hell, 1t asserts, contradict God’s actual salvation plan: here. redeeming all souls and calling them back to their true home, heaven.

The book’s replacement theory of hell is that It is a place to which souls go to learn from their mistakes. A syllogistic style is used to suggest that God’s salvation plan includes euphonic JOY for all people; as such, the book argues that, if more than half of humanity ends up in hell forever. they would not be able to take part in such a final eschatological scenario. These suggestions draw on the work of early Christian church leaders and theologians, whose different views of hell are underlined, including those of Clement of Alexandria, Ongen Adamanuus, and Gregory Nyssen.

The book’s concepts are further supported by a bevy of biblical references. translated verses, and Interpretations based on Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic writings. as well as its presentations of, and arguments with, different concepts of hell, including ideas of it as a place of eternal conscious torment, conditionalism, or restorationism. For fellow believers, it points to the privileges of living in the era of the internet, which is said to offer wide access to information that’s helpful when it comes to studying the Bible. The notion that similar ideas have been suppressed, or misinterpreted by people with illicit Interests, in earlier ages arises.

But the book’s homiletical tone is a challenge, and its tendency to abbreviate terms without providing definitions of them is a point of distraction. Misspellings and grammatical errors are additional drawbacks, as are off-putting statements that stand in contrast to the book’s earlier declarations about God’s love, such as that Jesus’s prophecies were about the destruction of Israel and the end of Judaism.

Hell No is a provocative book on a sensitive religious topic that encourages critical thinking when It comes to traditional beliefs about the afterlife.